Cannabis remains one of the most popular recreational drugs in the world. The banning of marijuana decades ago led to its politicization. There are myths on both ends of the debate. Read on to find out the myths and facts.
Myth 1. Cannabis Hunger Pangs Aren’t Real
One of the myths about cannabis amongst recreational users is that the cravings are imaginary and unreal. But there is a physiological mechanism that triggers the hunger pangs when you consume marijuana.
The THC in cannabis can activate the hypothalamus, which controls your sense of hunger and fatigue. When stimulated, the gland can make you feel hungry, even if you just had dinner.
Using a similar hypothalamus mechanism, THC can reduce sperm count and inhibit reproductive processes. However, studies show users can restore reproductive function after they cease consuming marijuana.
Myth 2. You can’t Get Addicted to Cannabis
Another common myth about cannabis is that you cannot become addicted to it. Even though many consider marijuana a mild drug, any substance that can modify brain chemicals can be addictive.
Additionally, people with mental health issues may use substances like cannabis, alcohol, or nicotine to mask their symptoms. In such cases, it can lead to psychological cravings that last for weeks or even months.
Because cannabis can be addictive, it can also cause withdrawal symptoms for chronic users. You may experience depression or anxiety, especially if you have an underlying mental health problem.
Myth 3. Cannabis Use Causes Brain Damage
Indeed, research shows that cannabis can inhibit brain function when intoxicated. Marijuana could diminish motor skills, attention span, and short-term memory.
However, there is no evidence that it can kill brain cells as with other drugs like alcohol. The adverse effect on the brain is negligible compared to non-users of cannabis in the long term.
The cannabis myths may have arisen due to the effect it has on people with bipolar and psychosis. For individuals with an underlying mental health problem, it raises their susceptibility to mental conditions.
On the other hand, medical marijuana offers viable remedies for mental conditions such as anxiety and depression. One 2018 survey showed 58% of respondents had a significant reduction in anxiety and stress.
Researchers are still cautious since more human studies are underway. You should also note that reactions to cannabis products are different depending on the strain.
Myth 4. Pregnant or Breastfeeding Mothers Should Use Cannabis as an Alternative
Naturally, many pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are worried about the effects of medication on the baby. The search for alternatives is one factor contributing to the myth that marijuana is a safe option.
However, some compounds in cannabis, such as THC, can have adverse effects on the baby’s growth and development. It can cross the placenta, which means that the baby will be consuming the drug.
THC and other compounds in cannabis can find their way into breast milk. That means the baby will continue taking the drug even after you cease consuming it.
Some of the effects marijuana can have on the baby include:
- Low birth weight
- Reduce the baby’s attention span
- Increase the risk of hyperactivity disorders
- Inability to take care of the baby
The effect of cannabis on a baby’s mental development can be severe. Some findings show that children exposed to marijuana at an early stage find it challenging to solve visual tasks. There may also be a decrease in motor development at age one.
Myth 5. Smoking Marijuana Causes Cancer
Marijuana smoke has several substances present in tobacco smoke. But still, scientists cannot tell if it is responsible for cancer. Several cannabis facts complicate the research on the link between cancer and marijuana.
One problem is that cannabis users often smoke tobacco as well. So when a user gets cancer, it is difficult to establish which substance was responsible for it.
Additionally, some findings suggest that some compounds may inhibit inflammation and hinder the spread of cancerous growth. But that also makes it harder to determine if weed or tobacco is responsible for cancer in chronic users.
Many studies on the link between cancer and cannabis were from years ago when marijuana was still prohibited. More research on humans may explain the connection. In the meantime, you may want to get marijuana from a registered dispensary.
Marijuana will not kill you, nor does it cause brain damage. However, you ought to understand its adverse effects. It can be addictive and may have severe effects on a growing baby. Please find more information on our website to Embarc on your journey with cannabis today!